Bullies guilty of abusing the elderly

28th July 2017

Bullies guilty of abusing the elderly

The law should be changed so crimes against the elderly are treated as seriously as offences with racial or homophobic motives.

That’s the call from charity Action on Elder Abuse, which wants the abuse of senior citizens recognised as an aggravated offence.

That would lead to statutory minimum sentences, meaning defendants would be more likely to be sent to prison and could expect to receive longer jail terms.

The charity says the abuse of old people has gone on for too long.

Chief Executive Gary FitzGerald said: “The Criminal Justice system is failing to protect older victims of abuse and neglect.

“Most cases are never prosecuted – and many should be – and police cautions are used as a cheap and easy way of avoiding the time and cost of prosecution. And even when cases are taken to court the result is invariably a suspended or deferred sentence or community service.

“When is this going to end?”

Research from Action on Elder Abuse found that an estimated 413,500 people aged 65 or over in England and Wales experience some form of abuse each year. However, there were only 3,012 successful criminal convictions in 2015/16 – the equivalent to just 0.7% of total prevalence.

This is a lower proportion than for racially motivated crimes (10.3%), homophobic and transphobic crimes (4.2%), domestic abuse (3.8%) and disability hate crime (1%).

“Theft does not kill younger victims, but it can kill older ones because trauma has a negative effect on the immune system of older people,” said Mr FitzGerald.

“Similarly physical or sexual abuse, while traumatic and devastating at any age, have a more extreme effect on an older person. If we accept the argument for aggravated offences for racially and religiously motivated crimes, why not for our older people?”

Earlier this year, figures revealed that more than 23,000 allegations of abuse had been made against home carers in the UK in the last three years – but only 15 people were prosecuted.

You can sign Action on Elder Abuse’s petition here.

How can Gotelee help?

Discovering that a parent or elderly loved one has suffered abuse is extremely distressing, especially if the professionals entrusted with their care are responsible.

Abuse can be emotional, physical or even financial. It can be deliberate or as a result of someone in a position of trust failing to provide necessary care.

Elderly abuse can often go unnoticed, with victims feeling too ashamed or scared to speak out.

Our solicitors have great experience and success of representing victims of elder abuse. We offer an understanding and empathetic local service from our offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Melton.

To find out more, contact us on 01473 298159 or email james.davies@gotelee.co.uk

Practice Areas
Accident and Personal Injury Claims
Blog Posts

How about a shorter working week?


Could a shorter working week increase your business's productivity? A financial services company in…

Read More
Upcoming Events

The Great East Run


A Gotelee team will be running The Great East Run on Sunday 16th at…

Read More
News Posts

Knife crime – the law


It might help the current debate on the surge in knife crime to set…

Read More


"Approachable, very efficient, always willing to take my calls and update me."

- SH

"We were very pleased to have Jade as our solicitor, the service was excellent and we felt kept in the loop which minimised stress"

- CT

"I have used Tracey Laflin at Gotelee on a number of occasions and in my opinion, she is simply the most efficient conveyancing solicitor I have ever worked with. From the outset, she took the time to understand my specific business requirements and to date, she has exceeded all of my expectations."

- Dale Fiddy - Portobello Developments Ltd

"I don't think this house sale would have pulled together without Jo's determination and expertise. Excellent!"

- MT

"Jade Shelton was absolutely fantastic!! Professional and proactive at all times."

- JH

"This is by far the go-to firm for any issues. You are made to feel valued from the outset and they are so confident in what they do. Wouldn't recommend any other. Thank you Hugh and Max."

- Ros Jones

"Domini was very fast and efficient in carrying out her work for me - she was also very good at explaining things to me"


"Prompt, helpful, polite and very professional service"


"The ease that we could access and speak to Pat Smith - Thank you"


"We found Rachel Dawson outstanding, polite, professional and caring."


Please select preferred method of contact

* We will only contact you by telephone if you select this as primary form of contact. All web enquiries will be stored on our website for 30 days.